Adoptive assistance is provided to families with an adoptive child(ren) who meet the special needs adoption criteria as a support to better meet their needs and maintain their adoptive placement. Adoptive families are given detailed information concerning the full range of financial supports, medical assistance, and services available to them and their child(ren) with special needs. The Kentucky Adoptive Assistance Handbook is made available for adoptive families and a copy of the adoptive child(ren)'s presentation summary is provided to the family. Adoption assistance may include one (1) or more of the following options:
- Monthly subsidy;
- Non-recurring expenses; and
- Extraordinary medical expenses.
The monthly subsidy is a rate established by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (Cabinet/CHFS) and shall not exceed the amount paid for foster care maintenance for the same child (including those rates designated as medically complex and care plus). 1 Please see SOP 13.40 for the procedural instructions for calculating the monthly subsidy amount.
The purpose of non-recurring adoption assistance is to offset the expenses of adopting a child with special needs. The non-reoccurring expense shall not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000). Allowable expenses include:
- Court costs;
- Adoption fees;
- Attorney fees;
- Cost of adoptive home studies, including health and psychological examinations;
- Supervision of placement costs prior to adoption; and
- Transportation, food, and lodging for the child and adoptive parent(s), when necessary, to complete the adoptive placement or the adoption finalization process.
Extraordinary medical expenses are state-funded expenses related to a child’s special needs that existed prior to the adoption and are not reimbursable by private insurance, the medical card, or any other resource. Parents may be required to make a co-payment based on their income.
The Cabinet provides adoption assistance for children with special needs who meet the following criteria:
- DCBS staff determines that the child will not be returned to the home of his parents, (e.g., termination of parental rights (TPR));
- The child meets at least one (1)of the qualifying conditions (detailed in the practice guidance);
A reasonable, but unsuccessful effort was made to place the child without providing adoption assistance, (e.g., referral to Kentucky Adoption Profile Exchange (KAPE) or out-of-state agency as there was no waiting family available, or conditions exist which have made it impossible to place such a child in the past without adoption assistance); or
- N/A is selected on the Adoption Assistance Request Form and Non-Recurring Adoption Expense Application if the child has a significant emotional tie to the foster parents and it would not be in the best interest of the child to pursue alternative adoptive options.